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Everything posted by fm2176

  1. fm2176

    Lowes is struggling

    I could see this as having potential. Perhaps eliminate the contractor packs in the regular stores (or keep them but reduce the associated discount) and have bulk building materials, hardware, and expendable/wearable items such as bits and blades.
  2. fm2176

    Lowes is struggling

    This is an interesting concept, but would likely only work in the largest of metropolitan areas. Lowe's isn't exactly a small store, so HD would have a hard time filling it only with premium tools and materials. Factor in too the fact that losses are high enough in regular stores--about four years ago it seemed like butane torches were being stolen from every greater Savannah-area store. I know I found packages missing only the torch both hidden around various stores or sharply reduced on the clearance shelf. This is from Savannah to Vidalia to Brunswick to Americus, basically all of Eastern Georgia and over 200 miles in-state. I've seen too many open boxes and, while losses are probably insignificant in the grand scheme of things, they impact both costs and profits. I wouldn't think that Home Depot would want to assume the risk of having large footprint stores with multiple blind spots and entrances/exits, all filled with only the highest quality (yet still mass-marketable) tools, equipment, and materials. If I were a thief, I'd definitely choose the "Pro" store over the standard one. In my mind, likely driven by different experiences than you, I could see a similar concept working, should HD's largest competitor (at least in the Eastern U.S.) go under. That would be to buy the stores where Lowe's has dominant market share. Most of the aforementioned towns have basically two choices for tools or hardware nowadays. Lowe's, Ace, or maybe a smaller chain like True Value or Do It Best. Many will have builder's supply stores and maybe even a small tool store. Still, if Lowe's were to just disappear (not likely at the moment, though I'm sure people said the same of Sears 10-15 years ago), then Ace or the largest local competitor would be the go-to place for everyone in the area. Home Depot would establish a more compact store format in many of the newly vacated building (small-town Lowe's stores are dwarfed by stores in more built-up areas). I like your concept, but feel as though it would be better served in a store the size of, say, Dollar Tree, though building materials and lumber would naturally increase the size.
  3. fm2176

    Lowes is struggling

    I went to Lowe's for the first time in a month or so and then rediscovered this thread. A quick search reveals that the timing is near-perfect: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-lowes-stores-are-closing-in-the-next-three-months-2018-11-05 So, 51 stores are closing (30 in Canada and 21 in the U.S.). I mentioned above how the Southeast seems mostly locked down by Lowe's in smaller or more rural cities and towns, and sure enough, only three southern stores seem to be closing (for now), in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. I also mentioned above how "bland" I used to find the store. Things are much more colorful now, however, with all of the seasonal Craftsman displays. There's red all over the place, contrasting nicely with the aforementioned relative drabness of most of their brands. Anyway, the Northern Virginia store I went into this morning was well stocked and organized, with probably around ten employees restocking or organizing shelves. Tool World was well-laid out and comprised perhaps 10-15% of the store (not counting Lumber and the outside portion of Lawn and Garden).
  4. fm2176

    Home Depot

    Stopped into a local store this morning and found the DeWalt DC385 reciprocating saw on clearance for $50. I got excited at first because a DCS387 kit was in its place, but no such luck. YMMV, but this isn't bad for someone still on the 18v XRP system, or who is budget-minded and already owns the DBA1820 adapter.
  5. I've yet to get any dust collection, outside of my cordless wet/dry vacuum (let a friend of my wife's borrow the noisy BF special Ridgid and don't expect to see it again). While the plan is to get inexpensive stationary equipment for the shop, I'd love to be able to eventually get a portable Festool. They're tools are far too rich for my blood, but I hear their dust extraction is hard to match (and admittedly, I like the look).
  6. I don't know about now, but I used to always hear good things about Rock Auto. Also, the major chains usually have good discounts on online orders. I've gotten to the point where I order online for in-store pickup, since they seem to reward such actions with 15%-25% discounts (not to mention the lines often suck in-store).
  7. Not power tools, but I picked up a couple of the new Ridgid clear lid organizers. There are two double length bins with slide-in dividers to section them into thirds, while the other eight bins seem to be the same as the older organizer/small box. Increasing the modularity even more is the fact that there are rails molded in that should work with the older box's slide-in dividers.
  8. fm2176

    Dcs355b question

    Just returned from Home Depot, where the display DCS355B had a conveniently broken lever. It's hard to tell from the poor quality cell phone pics, but the lever is definitely plastic of some sort. You can almost see the texture and some areas of lighter (almost neutral) tones. This was a 2017-dated Type 2.
  9. fm2176

    Dcs355b question

    Just checked both of mine (Type 2, 2016 and 2017 dates); they're both plastic. Not that there should be a difference, but one was a bare tool while other came in a kit.
  10. I haven't had time to really track anything, so this is news to me. Thanks for the update!
  11. I've had one of these for nearly three years, and accumulated two more since then. One had a similar issue, though not as terminal in nature. It would sometimes blink when jostled. I gave it to my brother and since it was fortunately still under warranty he simply had it replaced. While LED work lights are much nicer than their incandescent predecessors, but one frustrating thing is that most of them are designed to be unserviceable by the end user. Ten years ago, the bulky and awkward (by modern standards) work lights merely required a spare bulb or two. Now, with all the electronics and permanent LEDs, they seem to have a bit less durability in many cases (I'm talking about regular kit-style work lights, not the more specialized and toughened special models). Regardless, I hope you're continuing to enjoy your light, and that you have no issues with the new one.
  12. I don't exactly stay abreast of the latest business news, but based on a few sources, it seems that Best Buy is considered to have had a revival of sorts. A few years ago they were in dire straits but have reversed and are actually pulling a profit again. JC Penney was mentioned in a few articles, but the consensus seems to be that they will gain from Sears' current situation. They are, after all, one of the few national mall anchors left.
  13. Well, Sears has filed for bankruptcy: http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/sears-files-for-bankruptcy-mired-in-debt-and-deserted-by-shoppers/ar-BBOonxR?ocid=ientp I know we've been forecasting this for quite some time, but Sears may be gone sooner rather than later. According to what I've read, there are still some who are cautious optimistic that Sears will stick around, but others think it will only last as we know it through the holiday season. The nostalgic side of me is saddened by the thought of a store my family shopped at for decades simply ceasing to exist, but then again this isn't the first time such an instance will have occurred. Montgomery Ward preceded Sears' decline, while more specialty big boxes also no longer exist. Thirty years ago, Circuit City and Toys R'Us were juggernauts in the electronic and toy retail sectors (respectively), and the retail landscape was vastly different prior to the internet becoming so omnipresent. So, what does this mean for us? Almost nothing, really. When was the last time anyone here even stepped foot inside a Sears? For me, it was probably last year, when I visited the Columbus, GA Sears prior to it closing. I picked up some discontinued DeWalt safety footwear for cheap (the fact that it seems to have been discontinued for a couple of years at that time yet was still in stock speaks volumes about the store's sales) and walked through the tool section, feeling melancholy as I realized it might be the last time. Let's face it, though, those of us who frequent home improvement stores, supply houses, online retailers, or myriad other sources for tools and supplies are unlikely to even notice if Sears ceases to exist.
  14. In addition to the above advice, I'd urge a potential buyer to confirm model numbers before making a purchase. A lot of their products have multiple item numbers. A couple of years ago I was considering buying a wooden work bench (I never did, though). It had extremely mixed reviews, then I found a few reviews that stated there are two model numbers, one with mostly positive experiences and one with mostly negative ones. The "free" tools are usually worth the price. The exception to this is if you end up being lured into buying that expensive tool you realized you can't live without that is now 50% of the "regular" price. Walk in for a free flashlight, walk out $100 poorer. As for me, I generally buy nitrile gloves there and pick up the free batteries when I do. That way I have a constant supply of cheap batteries for toys and remotes as well as decent disposable gloves that they sell in a few different thicknesses. Also, notice the two different tiers of tools: the mostly garbage Pittsburgh and the mixed bag Pittsburgh Pro stuff. A $5 Pittsburgh socket set will be noticeably less refined than its costlier Professional counterpart.
  15. As a broke young soon-to-be father when I got my first job turning wrenches some 21 years ago, I viewed Craftsman as "good enough" for professional work but tailored for the DIY sort. My older brother had been a mechanic for a number of years and swore by Snap-On and other truck brands. My father was a life-long trucker who had his share of Craftsman hand tools. I took his approach to retail priced tools while slowly amassing some truck brands that had been either repossessed or traded in to the dealers. In the dying years of Sears' omnipresence, I was in a Hometown Store around the holidays. An older gentleman (I'd guess to be around 70) was chatting with a clerk about all the holiday sales and how "you can't beat [the quality and value of]Craftsman tools". More recently, and pertaining to attitudes about modern cordless tools, a former coworker and I were talking tools. He's exceptionally intelligent and, seeing how much I talked about new tools he kept asking me if I were a "Dewalt Guy". When I started talking more about my Ridgid and Milwaukee tools, he admitted to knowing little about tools and that, when in need of a drill, he has a lone Porter Cable drill. It was cheap, he knew little more than that Black & Decker markets to entry-level buyers, and he decided to go with a brand that carries a bit more weight. Subjectively speaking from my own opinions and those conversations, I think that Craftsman or Porter Cable could fill the same niche, but that continuing both will only confuse uninformed buyers. Given the decades of brand familiarity that even the younger consumer has with Craftsman, I feel that Porter Cable would gradually slide into obscurity. After all, Craftsman is what my grandfather owned, and what today's generation (I have adult children) recognizes as what "Dad" uses. I've said it before, but a close friend even bought into the 19.2v line because of the "Die Hard" batteries. My generation watched Sears' dominance rapidly fade, but we still remember when Sears was the place to go for tools, batteries, and appliances, leaving a lasting imprint which I feel would motivate us to pay homage to our forebears, so to speak. Unless our parents were die hard (no pun intended) woodworkers or such, however, Porter Cable was rarely seen...at least in households I grew up around. In short, I agree with the three-tier approach. If they insist on keeping all the brands, then so be it, but they should specialize certain brands and offer compatible batteries. Every brand might offer the basics (drills, drivers, and maybe saws), but leave more specialized tools to certain brands while selling only one brand from each tier in most stores. For example, they could keep the Wal-Mart Bostitch and Black and Decker but have interchangeable batteries between the two. Craftsman could specialize in automotive tools and saws while Porter Cable could offer routers and sanders. In a sense they already do this, as Dewalt and Mac use the same batteries; even so, Mac offered more options for automotive tools until recent years while never releasing things that a typical mechanic doesn't use professionally.
  16. I have a couple of the Bluetooth speakers, and saying they don't get loud is an understatement. In the right areas, such as a smaller room, they are decently loud, but otherwise they simply...suffice. I keep one in my truck to listen to streaming audio from my phone on my commute to work, and at 65-70 mph on the interstate it can sometimes be drowned out by road noise. Otherwise, however, I have been impressed with the speakers. If I want something louder there's always the TS Music + Charger. I'm fairly certain the one that sees the most use has a blown speaker, though, as it emits a rattling sound with certain types of audio. Guess I should check the date code to see if it's still in warranty.
  17. I enjoy using mine. In store they are located with the staple guns, so they may not even be in the tool aisle. Most stores don't seem to stock them with the other Ryobi One+ tools.
  18. Ridgid has some nice tools, but nowhere near the number that Ryobi offers. The Lifetime Service Agreement is outstanding, though, but be forewarned that it only applies to batteries purchased with kits. For example, two of my 4Ah batteries are covered, as they came with a kit, as are all three of my 2Ah batteries, which were part of starter packs (battery and charger kit). My other four 4Ah batteries are not covered, however, since they were purchased in 2-packs. You'll hear some horror stories of the LSA registration process, but either Ridgid has refined this, or the naysayers weren't doing something right. I've registered at least 15 Ridgid products with only two getting kicked back. Each time I simply scanned or took a photo of the receipt and submitted it online.
  19. After being somewhat disappointed by reviews of the DeWalt 20v Max mower, not to mention it's lack of local availability (supposedly it's very similar to the 40v Max version, of which displays at Lowe's prove to be well-built, if no better in terms of runtime), I pulled the trigger on yet another platform--Ego. Having had the 21" mower for a few weeks now, I'm very impressed with it, and am considering the backpack blower since my large DeWalt blower is buried in storage and a spare battery would be nice. As it stands now I don't plan to replace my DeWalt trimmers and chainsaw, but suffice to say that Ego has a new fan.
  20. Here's a slightly different view: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.slate.com/business/2018/08/the-trump-administration-is-not-bringing-back-asbestos.html I just love how every facet of life has been consumed by politics for the past couple of years. My Commander-in-Chief has my full support if for no other reason than being the whipping boy for seemingly everything these days. Hell, my wife and kids are as fervently against the POTUS as anyone. I avoid political discussions with them and definitely don't want to be subjected to such opinions here. It's been a long week and I have to attend a memorial service this evening, so forgive me if I seem thin-skinned, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who visits the TIA forums for apolitical discussions. To the OP, thanks for sharing as I hadn't heard about this.
  21. I'll wait to find a deal... I paid around $240 for three ToughSystem radios and only have one (Craftsman) T-Stak, so $219 is a bit too rich for my tastes at the moment.
  22. 9 gauge, according to this site: https://www.thomasnet.com/articles/hardware/screw-nail-sizes Your question piqued my curiosity on conversions.
  23. Well, I'm at the new unit, relearning my way around Northern Virginia and about to start moving stuff from storage to the house this weekend. With my ragged old Mac and Craftsman boxes still residing in Georgia storage units, I want to pick up a shiny new box for the garage. The Harbor Freight 44" box gets a lot of positive reviews, but I'm considering the DeWalt or Milwaukee combo at Home Depot. Anyone have any of these boxes? Comments, suggestions, anything else?
  24. Picked up the M12 inflator and soldering iron, along with the Klein 7-in-1 nut driver today.
  25. fm2176

    2x20V lawn mower

    I think this is a case of "damned if you do and damned if you don't". A lot of us were clamoring for a 20v Max mower, but the runtime has proven to be a disappointment for a lot of people. A bit more refinement--or a kit with 12Ah batteries--could remedy some of the negatives, but then we'd be upset over having to wait longer or to pay a premium for the larger batteries. Another example of this is the 18v adapter for stem batteries. DeWalt took its time before releasing one, despite a lot of pleas for such an adapter. Meanwhile they continue supporting 18v XRP tools, and when the DCA1820 is released a lot of people are upset because it came after they had switched to 20v Max or another brand altogether. I think the 5Ah battery mower kit was probably bundled with the expectation that buyers would either already be heavily invested in batteries or that they would be cutting only a very small yard. I'm still considering one as I have plenty of 4Ah to 6Ah batteries to run it with. I was sorely tempted to buy the 40v mower as it's currently priced at $299, but it seems to have the same runtime issues and I have no other 40v Max batteries.
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